CLARKSTON, GA – November 14, 2022
Faculty and staff of Georgia Piedmont Technical College were treated to an extra dose of generosity at their annual Grateful Gathering holiday event and meeting this past Friday. Seven hundred and 20 thousand doses, to be exact.
Amazon, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (on behalf of commissioner Mereda Davis-Johnson) and the City of Stonecrest each presented giant checks to the college’s Foundation which will manage and distribute the funds for GPTC. Amazon’s gift totaled $70,000, DeKalb County’s was $150,000 and the City of Stonecrest gave a whopping $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The gift from Amazon is earmarked for general support for Georgia Piedmont’s Regional Transportation Training Center (RTTC) in Lithonia. The DeKalb County funds are available immediately for GPTC students and will go toward student support (i.e. technology, transportation, childcare, tuition and fees). The financial resources from the City of Stonecrest will go toward continuing education and training, focusing on the RTTC and logistics and transportation programs.
From commercial truck driving to maintenance to management, Georgia Piedmont Technical College offers about a dozen programs that focus on logistics and transportation. The college’s Regional Transportation Training Center in South DeKalb is in the final stages of design and will soon see a multi-million-dollar facelift. Construction on the RTTC is expected to begin in 2023 with classes commencing in 2024. Despite construction and labor costs skyrocketing, Georgia Piedmont has nearly doubled the initial allocation of $5.77 million by the state of Georgia with GPTC having raised an additional $5.5 million.
“Construction costs have more than doubled since our initial outlay,” said GPTC President Dr. Tavarez Holston. “Purchasing tractor trailers for training purposes has been challenging as well, due to supply chain issues and procurement processes. Without this level of support from the City of Stonecrest, DeKalb County Government and Amazon, we would have had to significantly scale back our vision which would have severely limited the opportunity to train the region’s workforce at this world-class facility. We will continue to seek resources to ensure that our students have the best transportation and logistics training in the country.”
So far, the total investment of GPTC partners for the Regional Transportation Training Center is about $14 million. Holston hopes to see another $1 million or so earmarked for equipment, faculty sponsorships, and student support.
To further embrace the booming logistics industry and programs provided by Georgia Piedmont, the State of Georgia in January budgeted $2 million from the Georgia Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II) toward a CDL driving range and facilities in Newton County. Construction on that project is scheduled to begin in Spring of 2023.